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Press Office
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2010
CONTACT: Kristin Lock (850) 245-2112, (850) 778-7294
   

DEP and Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Come Together for the Environment and Safety

~Event at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park collects medicine, paper, plastic bags and used cell phones for proper disposal, reuse and recycling~

JACKSONVILLE – The Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Easy As One campaign coordinated with Hernando County Sheriff’s Office to host its third regional collection event today at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park in Springhill, Florida. At the event, more than 1,300 pounds of paper were shredded and recycled by ProShred Security; more than 1,400 retail plastic bags were collected and recycled by Wal-Mart; more than 100 used cell phones and 230 chargers were collected and donated to a good cause and more than 2,100 bottles of unwanted or expired prescription and over-the-counter medicines were gathered for safe and proper disposal.

“This event is an illustration of how easy individual actions can collectively produce a dynamic impact on environmental and societal well being,” said DEP Deputy Secretary Mimi Drew. “The prevention of thousands of plastic bags, numerous expired or unwanted medications and hundreds of pounds of paper from reaching the waste stream protects our environment; while the donation of unwanted cell phones and chargers benefits worthy charities.”

Wastewater systems are not designed to remove many types of medications. Residents can contaminate groundwater supply and drinking water by flushing drugs down the toilet or pouring medications down the sink. All of the drugs collected from today’s event will remain in the custody of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office until they are destroyed properly by incineration.

"Improper disposal of medicine has potential environmental, health and safety risks," said Sheriff Richard B. Nugent of the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office. "This event established a simple way for residents to safely remove potentially dangerous medicine from their homes and prevent it from contaminating our water."

People who brought 15 or more bags for recycling received a reusable shopping bag donated by Wal-Mart. Those who donated a cell phone or charger, recycled paper or brought medicines for disposal received a day pass to any Florida State Park.

For those who were unable to attend the event, many retail grocery stores have implemented plastic bag recycling programs to make recycling easy for their shoppers. To find a plastic bag recycling location, go to www.abagslife.com. Visit www.Earth911.com for information on recycling paper and many other items such as computer monitors, toner cartridges and televisions. DEP offers information on how to dispose of unwanted medications.

Easy As One - Ordinary actions. Extraordinary results. is an environmental awareness campaign by DEP that highlights easy actions each one of us can take to make sustainable practices part of our daily lives at home, at school, at work and at play. As the lead agency in state government for environmental management and stewardship, DEP encourages citizens to adopt green habits that protect Florida’s air and water quality, conserve water and reduce waste. A sustainable Florida depends on the collective efforts of citizens, groups, businesses, industry and government.

For more information on Easy As One visit the blog, www.dep.state.fl.us/EasyAsOne. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/EasyAsOne. For more information on the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office visit www.hernandosheriff.org

Images from today’s event are available at: www.dep.state.fl.us/secretary/events/eao.htm.

easy as one event

"This event is an illustration of how easy individual actions can collectively produce a dynamic impact on environmental and societal well being."

Mimi Drew
DEP Deputy Secretary

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Last updated: August 12, 2010

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